Benedict Cumberbatch is living proof that movie casting has gone completely skew-whiff in recent years. Benedict who is famous for his uppity and over-the-top portrayal of Sherlock, seems completely at home on television; where everybody and everything is distinctly average. Transpose him to film however, and you realise how anodyne his acting really is.
Cumberbatch is part of a new wave of dull TV Actors who are admired and ogled over as if they were Daniel Day-Lewis, but for all intents and purposes they may as well be Daniel Baldwin. Even though TV Actors such as Jeremy Irons have in the past made the transition to Film quite successfully, contemporary moves toward cinema such as that of Martin Freeman have been underwhelming to say the least; and with the likes of Chris O’Dowd this move to the “big-time” is getting preposterous. In Benedict Cumberbatch’s case it’s like watching him play the character of Sherlock over and over again on the big screen. I mean c’mon, it’s a huge leap from Heartbeat to Hollywood, and the only thing memorable about Cumberbatch is his Roald Dahl-esque name which sounds more like a pompous Organic Farmer than an A-List Actor.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike the bloke on a personal level; he’s done nothing wrong (as far as I know). He sticks up for gay rights, he apparently joined an anti-war protest, but populist causes are things which numerous people of the world stick-up for, and when it comes to Benedict Cumberbatch, proving that he has a spine doesn’t detract from his lack of charisma.
Cumberbatch is probably the only celebrity who is indistinguishable from their waxwork at Madame Tussauds, and if he were to be replaced by his statue, I don’t think anybody would notice. Benedict’s complete lack of star quality is evident in every role he plays, and apart from the tone or tempo change of his voice, it’s like watching Benedict Cumberbatch playing Benedict Cumberbatch; only in costume. Period Drama, Sci-Fi, Comedy, no matter the genre, as an audience member you cannot get over his straight-faced glare or his pole-in-keister stance. Oh look; it’s Cumbebatch doing an American accent, blinking a lot and hanging his lower jaw. Oh my God; it’s Cumberbatch again, wearing hair gel and white-washing the character “Khan Noonien Singh”. One thing’s for certain, with his annoyingly smarmy expression and wonky smirk, and with a face that looks like a cross between a Human and an Extraterrestrial Grey; it’s hard to see past the contrivances of Benedict Cumberbatch rather than the character he’s playing.
There are many great Actors out there, even TV Actors. But it seems that the media loves promoting only a handful in order to inflate their worth and increase the industry’s control of them. Every time I see Cumberbatch in a film, I cannot help but think that yet another role has been robbed from James D’Arcy. The way this trend for blandness is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if every crappy Actor from British TV makes it into at least one big-budget blockbuster. I mean what’s next; casting Doctor Who’s Matt Smith in a Terminator Sequel?
A Bad Batch.